May 16, 2004
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Rob Johnson's second home run of the day broke a 4-4 tie and helped lift the University of Houston baseball team to an 8-4 win over Louisville on Sunday at Cardinal Stadium in the finale of a Conference USA series.
After falling behind 4-1, the Cougars chipped away and pulled to within a run in the sixth inning on Johnson's first home run of the day. In the eighth inning, UH exploded for four runs off five hits. After leading off with a single to left field, Travis Tully moved to second base on Matt Farrington's sacrifice bunt. Papavasiliou then laced a double into the gap in left center to score Tully and knot the game at 4-4.
Cole Bruce followed with a single up the middle to put runners at first and third. After a UL pitching change, Johnson worked the count full and then blasted his second home run of the game over the left field wall to give the Cougars a 7-4 lead.
Johnson finished the day 2-for-3 with two runs and a career-best-tying five RBIs to lead the Cougars who outhit Louisville 12-8. With his single in the eighth inning, Tully extended his hitting streak to a career- and UH season-best 20 consecutive games and became just the fourth player in school history to reach that milestone.
Thanos Papavasiliou went 4-for-5 with two runs and an RBI and tied a UH single-game record with three doubles, while Patrick Gaylord batted 2-for-3 and smashed his first career home run in the ninth inning.
UH reliever Rickey Putman pitched two perfect innings of relief to collect the win and improve to 1-0 this season. Brandon Roznovsky held Louisville to only one hit over the final two scoreless innings to collect his team-leading seventh save.
Louisville reliever Justin Valdes dropped to 4-7 after allowing five runs off five hits with four strikeouts in 1.1 innings.
The Cougars conclude their 2004 regular season when they meet Conference USA rival Tulane in a three-game series at Cougar Field. That series begins with 7 p.m. games on both Thursday and Friday and wraps up at 1 p.m., Saturday.
All three games can be heard live or over the Internet at www.UHCougars.com with Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling the action. Friday's and Saturday's games will also be available on 88.3 KAXF FM. Fans can follow live stats at www.UHCougars.com by clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the bottom of the main page.
As they did in the first two games, the Cougars struck for the game's first runs, although the team waited until the second frame to put its mark on the scoreboard. Bruce laced a 1-2 offering from Tisdale over the wall in right center to lead off the second inning.
In the fifth inning, the Cardinals took advantage of their own long ball to tie the game on Logan Johnson's leadoff home run. Ron Braun gave Louisville the lead with a two-out, two-RBI single through the left side, and Daniel Burton's RBI-single to left field scored Nick Haley for a 4-1 UL lead.
In the top of the sixth, the Cougars trimmed that deficit to a run with another long ball. After Thanos Papavasiliou laced a double down the left field line, Rob Johnson hammered a 2-1 offering over the right field wall for a 4-3 Louisville lead.
In the ninth inning, the Cougars added their lead when Patrick Gaylord blasted his first collegiate home run over the right field wall to lead off.